What is Physiotherapy and What to Expect From Your First Appointment?

What is Physiotherapy?

The Australian Physiotherapy Association defines physio as-

“Physiotherapists help you get the most out of life. They help you recover from injury, reduce pain and stiffness, increase mobility and prevent further injury. They listen to your needs to tailor a treatment specific to your condition. As first contact practitioners, you don’t need a doctor’s referral to see a physiotherapist. Physiotherapists, doctors, and other health professionals will often work as part of a team to plan and manage treatment for a specific condition.”

In short, Physiotherapists help people with pain, injury and dysfunction return to normal activity and normal life in a pain-free way. Physiotherapists also assist people to prevent injury. Physiotherapists use a wide range of treatment modalities including (but not limited to) massage, joint mobilization, dry needling, trigger point release, strengthening exercise and stretching exercise to achieve these aims.

What to expect from your Physio appointment?

After making your online booking or phone booking you will be sent a basic questionnaire and consent form which we would appreciate you filling out prior to attending your first appointment.

On arrival at the clinic, you will be greeted by a member of our experienced reception team and asked to have a seat while awaiting your appointment. If your physiotherapist is running more than five minutes behind time they will come and speak to you and let you know exactly when they will see you.

Our physiotherapist will lead you to a curtained treatment cubicle and ask you to have a seat while they take a very detailed history. The history will include specific details of your presenting problem as well as an in depth physical and medical history. At times it may seem like an interrogation however knowledge is power. The more we know about you and your condition the better equipped we are to provide you with a solution. Expect your physiotherapist to be taking detailed notes while you speak.

At the next stage you may be asked to take off appropriate layers of clothing to reveal the injured area for examination.

The physiotherapist will then run you through a physical examination which may include range of motion, strength testing, balance testing, a walking analysis as well as a few “special tests” which may confirm our provisional diagnosis.

Our physiotherapist will then provide you with a detailed explanation of your presenting condition. Very often at the first assessment you will be provided with a primary diagnosis of your condition as well as 1 or 2 alternate diagnosis.  This enables us to broaden our treatment options and address a wide variety of dysfunction. It avoids us locking into a specific pathway of treatment which may not prove correct down the track. Your physiotherapist will also provide you with likely recovery timeframes and approximate number of treatments needed and treatment frequency.

Your physiotherapist will then explain what the treatment will consist of. As stated above this may include some electrophysical agents, soft tissue therapies such as massage, dry needling, joint mobilization and exercise-based therapies. in most cases you will be given some basic exercises as homework to complete. These will allow for a much faster recovery.

At the conclusion of treatment, the physiotherapist will reassess your condition and confirm your exercises to perform at home.

Our reception team will then assist you with payment and rebooking for follow up appointments.

If at any time throughout the assessment or treatment you do not feel comfortable, please inform your Physiotherapist.

By Peakhurst Physio

Caring for the whole person, not just the injury

Book Online